Toshiro Fujita (University of Tokyo, Japan)
Toshiro Fujita MD, PhD, is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine and a Senior Fellow Research Center for Advanced Science & Technology (RCAST) at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He has been Head of the Department of Nephrology and Endocrinology of the University Hospital and group leader of Division of Clinical Epigenetics, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) and The University of Tokyo. Dr. Fujita has his highly resourceful and productive accomplishment in nephrological research and clinics, particularly as it relates to hypertension. Paradoxical mechanism and clinical challenge of salt-sensitive hypertension has never ceased to be the focus of his major research interest ever since his fellowship studies in Dr. Fred Bartter’s laboratory at NIH in the 1970s. In 2008 Dr. Fujita and associates reported a seminal discovery of the unique role of the Rho family GTPase Rac1 as a specific and potent regulator of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activity and resultant salt retention and renal injury. Moreover, he validated his hypothesis that activation of Rac1 is the key for explaining the long-standing aldosterone paradox in salt sensitivity whereas Rac1 inhibition by high salt explains salt resistance (2011). Along with the discovery of the role of Rac1-MR pathway in salt sensitivity, Dr. Fujita and his collaborators have made key contributions to our understanding of the role of dietary salt in hypertension and renal diseases. He received the Franz Volhard Award of International Society of Hypertension (2014), the Excellence Award for Hypertension Research, Council for Hypertension, the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Homer W. Smith Award of American Society of Nephrology (2019).
Maria Marino (Roma Tre University, Italy)
Maria Marino, PhD, is a biologist and Professor of Physiology and Molecular Endocrinology at the University Roma Tre in Rome. Her work focuses on membrane estrogen receptor palmitoylation and she recently identified the first protein interactome of membrane estrogen receptors. After completing studies at Università di Roma La Sapienza, she obtained a Ph.D. degree in cell and molecular biology in 1990 at Università di Roma Tor Vergata. Since 1995, she has been at Universita Roma Tre where she moved through the ranks from Assistant Professor and Associate Professor to Full Professor of Physiology in 2011. She has published more than 150 research articles. Dr. Marino’s research interests also include post-receptor modifications of signal transduction pathways triggered by steroid hormones and growth factors controlling cell cycle progression and cell differentiation as well as signaling pathways that drive cancer cells to sustain cell proliferation and evade from apoptosis. Dr. Marino studies focuses also on effects of xenoestrogens/endocrine disrupting chemicals on estrogen and androgen receptor function. Dr. Marino was a Welcome Trust Fellow at the University of Nottingham (UK) and held a Visiting Professorship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston (TX, USA). She is a member of the Endocrine Society, the European Endocrine Society, and the Federation of European Physiological Societies. She has served as expert for the European Commission/ERC FP6 program, the Danish Council for Independent Research, the Committee of the French National Grant Proposal in Pathophysiology, the French National Research Agency (ANR), and the Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR). Dr. Marino is currently Secretary/Treasurer of the Italian Physiological Society and was elected to the Academia Medica Romana in 2014. During her carrier, Dr. Marino has trained more than 200 graduate and PhD students and 50 postdoctoral scientists.
Dino Moras (University of Strasbourg, France)
Dino Moras, PhD, is a biochemist who pioneered structural biology in France. Emeritus research director at CNRS, he currently holds a professor position at the University of Strasbourg. After completing a PhD in chemistry in 1971, Dr. Moras moved into structural biology with his research focused on the regulation of expression of genetic information and its evolution, his major contributions including unraveling mechanisms of translation of the genetic code. These include the partition of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases into two classes (1990), the first structure determination of a class II aaRS-tRNA complex and the elucidation of the mechanism of aminoacylation in 1991, and the solution of the Pauling paradox in the case of threonine (2000). In the field of transcriptional regulation, Dr. Moras has studied nuclear receptors of steroid hormones for more than three decades. In 1995, Dr. Moras resolved and provided first evidence for the crystal structure of a ligand-binding domain (RXR). He subsequently identified the crystal structures of RAR, VDR, EcR and ERR. Using an integrative structural biology approach, Dr. Moras solved the crystal and solution structures of several receptors bound to DNA and cofactors. Dr. Moras’ research has contributed to the understanding of the mechanism involved in allosteric control of hormone nuclear receptor action. Dr. Moras’ research has been funded by the CNRS, University of Strasbourg and INSERM. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences (1987), EMBO (1987), Academia Europaea, (1998), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998) and recipient of the bronze (1972) and silver (1982) medals of CNRS.